Yesterday I threw out six trash bags of trash from our house. SIX trash bags. And that's just the TRASH: not stuff "good enough to give away," but containers of dried-out Play-Doh, scattered beads, a stack of Gymboree gift boxes I'm never going to use, cheap trinket-type toys, paper airplanes, and pieces of broken toys.
This is the kind of task that is equal parts satisfying and discouraging. The satisfaction is obvious: six bags of trash removed is a clear improvement. But it's also so discouraging: how did things get this bad? and how can there still be so much left to do?
The clutter book I'm reading is equal parts annoying and useful. I think all self-help books are annoying, and this one keeps cheesing me off with its tone. But here are the useful things I'm already putting into practice:
1) You can only have as much stuff as you have room for.
2) If it's so important, why is it in a never-opened box in the basement?
3) Stop bringing more stuff IN.
4) If you're not using it, give it to someone who can, or else get rid of it.
5) What does this item represent?
That last one is for things like, why am I saving a big pile of still-in-their-packages child-proofing devices, when it's clear that if we haven't used them by Baby #5 we're not GOING to use them? And the answer is that when I own these items, it makes me feel like I own Safety. It also applies to things like books, where people often feel that they've purchased Information. And it applies to heirlooms and keepsakes that are in boxes in the basement, where people often feel like they're storing Memories they'd otherwise lose.
I find this concept exceedingly cheezy---and yet useful and applicable, which explains why I'm a little crabby. It turns out I am saving a number of things in case of Apocalyptic Situations and/or Economic Depressions. I feel like if I have piles of fabric and twenty-five pounds of dried beans, then I will be all set in case of zombies, nuclear disaster, and/or economic ruin.
Cookiemonks has her new contest up---it's Etsy-themed, with a choice of prizes.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...